With well over 3,000 old arcade games now supported by MAME, you wouldn’t think there could possibly be many “families” of 80s/90s coin-ops still left unemulated. When will you learn, eh?

Despite the recent “fall” of Capcom’s CPS-2 system (home of practically every major 2D fighting game of the last decade), there are still a couple of coin-op tech standards eluding the grasp of emulators, most notably Sega’s Model 1 board, which played host to many of the earliest polygon games including Virtua Fighter and the awesome Virtua Racing. Until recently the “wanted” list also included Model 1’s Sega predecessor, System 32, which ran some little-seen but classic titles like the Sonic The Hedgehog arcade game and the obscure final game in the Out Run series, Out Runners.

Tragically, these twin stalwarts have been dealt a crushing blow with the recent release (by the people who brought you The Impact, a superb but short-lived emu which did a great job of running several 3D arcade beat-‘em-ups like Street Fighter Ex Plus, Rival Schools and Toshinden 2, but was never updated after a controversial first release) of the latest version of Modeler, an emu which, despite its name, offers pretty complete replication of the workings of System 32 and still-preliminary Model 1 support.

None of the Model 1 games can be played yet (most of them only display backdrops, no polygons), but a large proportion of System 32 games, also including Golden Axe 2 and Spiderman, run beautifully and with full sound. It’s well worth a play, especially since Out Runners was designed in the arcades primarily as a two-player game (unlike the previous Out Runs, there’s almost no computer-controlled traffic), and Modeler takes full advantage of the Kaillera online-gaming code (see last month’s column) to provide you with some particularly fine head-to-head internet racing. And the day Model 1 finally gives up its secrets and lets you do the same with Virtua Racing, your correspondent will be a very happy man indeed.








“See? I told you we’d never find a late-night pizza joint around here.”

“Shut up.”

Arabian Fight: Clever wording, cheers.

Shortly to be followed by “Thwerp!” and “K’toing!”



Theatre Of Magic (Bally, 1995)

One of the last tables to ever enjoy real success in arcades, ToM was a deserved hit due to its superfast playfield and feature-packed design, which kept the ball whizzing around loops and ramps and rarely gave the player a moment to stop and draw breath. This VP version showcases a trick known as “decal modding”, by which clever artists get around the fact that Visual Pinball can’t draw graphics on vertical surfaces by superimposing photographs over the top of the table to make it look amazingly close to the real thing.

So far there’s only one person creating these mods (they’re also responsible for several more, including the Ed’s favourite, White Water), but the website contains simple and easy-to-follow instructions, so if you fancy getting involved in the VP world but don’t fancy tackling the mysteries of Visual Basic just yet, it might be a good place to start.



(Left) Theatre Of Magic, featuring Zoe Ball and Kirsty Gallacher. It would seem.


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